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The Gonzo Lounge>***Official 2021 Royals Season Repository Thread***
ChiefsCountry 12:01 PM 01-07-2021
For all things Royals for the new year.

Free Agent Signings:
Carlos Santana
Mike Minor
Michael Taylor
Ervin Santana

Top 10 Prospects:
1 Bobby Witt Jr., SS
2 Asa Lacy, LHP
3 Daniel Lynch, LHP
4 Jackson Kowar, RHP
5 Erick Pena, OF
6 Nick Loftin, SS
7 Kyle Isbel, OF
8 Khali Lee, OF
9 Jonathan Bowlan, RHP
10 Carlos Hernedez, RHP
[Reply]
tk13 11:06 PM 03-10-2021
I'm excited about a lot of the pitchers, but it's Singer I want to see. Hopefully he can carry over what he did at the end of last year. He was looking sharp. You put him with Keller and you've got a solid start of a rotation, especially if Minor performs like a solid veteran.
[Reply]
Chiefspants 11:09 PM 03-10-2021
Originally Posted by duncan_idaho:
I don't know what it is, but it sure seems like the Royals have found a secret sauce with all these college pitchers.

They're making small tweaks and then seeing guys just jump up like crazy. Very different than the 2006-2010 approach of "throw a bunch of money at raw high school guys with projection and hope it works!"
At a time when the rest of the league was skittish about drafting arms, too.

Then out of nowhere the Royals spend ALL 4 of their first picks (right?) on arms. Remember the whole league was like, WTF? But my, if it works...
[Reply]
arrowheadnation 11:10 PM 03-10-2021
I just can't wait to get back to the K for a game. The phrase "you don't know what you got, til it's gone." is ridiculously true.
[Reply]
Priest31kc 11:18 PM 03-10-2021
What's the long term plan for Soler? Free agent after this season, 29 yrs old, DH only. But I really want to see us extend him. Need his power!
[Reply]
Chris Meck 12:18 AM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by Chiefspants:
At a time when the rest of the league was skittish about drafting arms, too.

Then out of nowhere the Royals spend ALL 4 of their first picks (right?) on arms. Remember the whole league was like, WTF? By my, if it works...
It was smart.

In this park? You need pitching. Let other teams overvalue the big power/lots of strikeout hitters.

Contact hitting, speed, pitching will always be the way the Royals win, when they do.

It's smart for a small market team to keep that park the way it is and build teams that way.
[Reply]
Deberg_1990 07:43 AM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by Chris Meck:
It was smart.

In this park? You need pitching. Let other teams overvalue the big power/lots of strikeout hitters.

Contact hitting, speed, pitching will always be the way the Royals win, when they do.

It's smart for a small market team to keep that park the way it is and build teams that way.
Remember when the Royals pulled the fences in and guys like Gary Gaetti started jacking them Out and our pitching went to crap.
[Reply]
KChiefs1 08:31 AM 03-11-2021
https://theathletic.com/2432850/2021...have-had-hope/

Letters From Spring: From Alex Gordon to Andrew Benintendi, the Royals have had hope
by
Joe Posnanski

Originally Posted by :
The Kansas City Royals

Established: 1969

Nickname quality: (scale of 1-10) 8

Look, if it’s good enough for Lorde, it’s good enough for all of us. Most people probably don’t know this — the Royals were not actually named for royalty. They were named for the American Royal, a livestock show that has been in Kansas City since 1899. There was actually some talk about having a cow for the logo; this was wisely ditched — not because I’m anti-cow logo (I am certainly not) but because nobody would have any idea what was going on.

Uniform quality: (scale of 1-10) 7.1

As Paul Lukas of UniWatch points out, the Royals uniform has developed into a sort of Los Angeles Dodgers lite. That’s fine as far as it goes: The white uniforms are classy with the script “Royals” across the chest. But I have strong feelings of affection for the old powder blues of George Brett, Paul Splittorff, Frank White, Hal McRae and so on. The Royals have a powder blue version now (they have lots of uniform versions) but it’s with white pants which dull the effect. I want the whole thing. If it was good enough for Bo Jackson, it’s good enough for anyone.

Stadium ranking out of 30: 8th

Camden Yards rightfully gets the credit for launching the modern stadium revolution, but many years earlier, Royals Stadium — now Kauffman Stadium — reshaped how people saw baseball stadiums. In fact, it’s not a stadium despite the name: It’s a “ballpark” built in a time of “stadiums.” The fountains. The crown-shaped scoreboard. The wonderful sightlines. It is all still so wonderful. You probably know this, but just about all of the great ballparks in baseball were built by one of the Kansas City architectural firms … and those firms were built out of the splendor that is Kauffman Stadium.

All-time pitching rotation: 20th-best:(Kevin Appier; Bret Saberhagen; Mark Gubicza; Zack Greinke; Dennis Leonard)

Random player from history: John Mayberry

There is nothing at all random about Big John, but any time you have an opportunity to talk about him, you should. He was really good. From 1972-75, he hit .277/.399/.493 with a 152 OPS+, drove in 100 RBIs three times, led the league in walks twice, led the league in OPS+ once and finished second in 1975 to Fred Lynn in the MVP balloting. He wore down some after that and had a famously difficult 1977 playoff series that led pretty directly to him being sold to the Toronto Blue Jays. But at his best, Mayberry was sensational. He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, but he could also be very intimidating.

Mayberry tells one story about Frank Tanana — I’ll probably get some of the details wrong but hopefully I’ll get the general gist right. In 1974, Mayberry was coming off a fantastic season when he led the league in walks and on-base percentage and finished seventh in the MVP voting.

He was not having quite as good a year, but he believed that he was heating up heading into a doubleheader against the California Angels. He went 3-for-4 with a couple of RBIs in the first game. Then, in the second game, Tanana hit Mayberry with a pitch. Big John missed the next three weeks.

And he was mad. He had known Tanana since they were both kids — Tanana was a few years younger but they both grew up in Detroit and were both first-round picks.

Anyway, the next time the Royals played the Angels, Big John made sure to find Tanana before the game. This was not easy as Tanana did not particularly want to be found. But Mayberry apparently chased Tanana down in the outfield, pushed him up against the outfield fence and said something to the effect of, “If you ever hit me with another pitch, I will end you.”

Needless to say, Tanana never hit John Mayberry with another pitch.

Major-league club summation: The starting rotation features some young guys — Brady Singer, Brad Keller, Kris Bubic — who could make this rotation pretty good in the years ahead. And the offense has some new names that make them interesting.

Minor-league system summation (from Keith Law): “The Royals fell off significantly after the team had its success in 2014 and 2015, but the Royals have built it back up by drafting well the last three years.”

Top prospect: Daniel Lynch.

Reason to watch in 2021: You can say whatever you want about the Royals but here’s the thing: They’re trying to win.

Wait, he plays on this team?: Carlos Santana.

Also: Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Benintendi. But the Royals actually inspire a new category which is “Wait, he plays on this team AGAIN?” This includes: Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Ervin Santana and Jarrod Dyson. They’re all back, it’s like a reunion tour.

Funniest name: Whit Merrifield.

Mike Schur: “Whit Merrifield is the name of a Harvard professor in an ’80s comedy about rabble-rousing nerds who stick it to the man.”

Best hopes for 2021: The best hopes are actually a bunch of little hopes — that Benintendi returns to form, that Santana has another good offensive year in him, that the young pitching arrives fast, that the bullpen somehow gets stitched together, etc.

When I was a columnist at The Kansas City Star, I would write an annual column that began like so: “The Kansas City Royals are going to win the American League Central.”

This was plainly a joke — one I had borrowed from an old Kansas City humor columnist named Bill Vaughan, who used to do something similar for the irredeemable Kansas City Athletics of the 1950s and ’60s. The Royals, like those A’s, were never going to win the division or anything else. From 1997, when I wrote the first one, and again for the next 15 or years, the Royals were absolutely terrible. They lost 90-plus games all but three seasons and lost 100-plus games four times. They did have one miraculous season in the middle but it should be said that for those Royals, a “miraculous” season meant a team going 83-79.

That was the only winning season Kansas City had between the strike and 2013.

But, still, I wrote that column every year and, over time, something funny happened: People began to look for it. I mean, no, not everybody liked it; there were plenty of people who thought it was dumb and pointless and irritating. But there were others, more than I ever could have expected, who would say that column was a highlight for them. They were in on the joke, sure, but there was something more for them. I will still hear from people who will say, “I loved when you would pick the Royals to win.”

I think this has something to do with hope.

Hope is supposed to be at the heart of baseball. It is the game where the worst teams will win as many games in a season as the best teams in the NBA or NHL. It is the game where time cannot run out on you. When Mighty Casey’s Mudville team was down by two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, only …

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.

The rest

Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast.

It wasn’t fashionable to hope for the Royals. Why would you? The team was bad, and they didn’t spend money to get better, and they kept missing in the draft, and when they actually did develop a big talent like Johnny Damon or Carlos Beltrán or Greinke, they had to trade the player off before his salary became too large. Why would you hope when your team is in that sort of doom cycle?

But, then, maybe the question should be turned around: Why would you follow baseball at all if you can’t hope? What would be the point of that?

All of this leads me to the main point about the Kansas City Royals since Dayton Moore took over as general manager: They are always trying to win. They were trying to win the first few years after he took over when, he readily admits, the team made a few missteps. They were trying to win around 2012 and 2013, when their brilliant collection of prospects like Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas and Salvador Pérez began to make an impact.

They went for it in 2014 and 2015, making key trades, dealing off top prospects, and they won pennants both years, a World Series in the second year.

Then, with their farm system depleted, they clung to their core players for longer than almost anybody thought wise because they were still trying to win — this led to a couple of mediocre years and, inevitably, a complete collapse where the team lost 104 and 103 games in back-to-back seasons.

Always, though, the Royals tried. There was never a plan to tank, bottom out and try to rebuild from scratch, which is the plan many teams around baseball feel forced to try. Now, you could argue that the result ended up being basically the same; whether the Royals tried to tank or not, they still ended up being one of the worst teams in baseball with all the high draft picks and payroll flexibility that comes with it.

But I would argue back that it’s entirely different. Moore and the Royals have tried to provide hope. During the 2020 non-season, they were, in my opinion, baseball’s model franchise — paying all their minor leaguers and refusing to have any layoffs or furloughs for employees. They did this even though the team’s owner, John Sherman, had only just taken over and had not built up the huge profits of other team owners.

And then, this year, look, few people think the Royals are going to be all that competitive in the suddenly loaded American League Central. The Twins and White Sox both have a chance to be really good, Cleveland finds pitchers everywhere it looks, the Royals seem to be at least a year or two away … and even that assumes that things work out.

But all offseason they made moves, lots of moves, so many moves — signing Santana, signing Taylor, trading for Benintendi, bringing back Royals icons Holland, Davis, Ervin Santana and Dyson. Will any of that work? Who knows? But hope?

Yes, there’s hope that Benintendi can again be the excellent player he was in 2017 and 2018.

Yes, there’s hope that Santana can hit again — who really knows what happened in 2020?

Yes, there’s hope that Taylor can play great center-field defense, that Davis can find some old form now that he’s freed from Colorado’s light air, that Dyson can use his speed and defensive versatility to be useful. And the Royals already have an All-Star catcher and beloved legend in Pérez and the excellent and seemingly indestructible Merrifield and the ultra-talented Adalberto Mondesi. They have some talented young pitching with more on the way.

Hope.

Every Royals fan, I imagine, knows that every one of those things I just wrote about might not happen. I don’t think I need to hammer the point that while, yes, hope is supposed to be at the heart of baseball, more often than not hope is dashed, prospects bust, late-inning rallies are quashed, Mighty Casey strikes out. But I love this team for trying. Baseball would be better if everybody did.

Alex Gordon retired at the end of the 2020 season, and I think it’s important to point out what an unusual player he turned out to be. Gordon grew up in Nebraska in a family of Royals fans; he has a brother named Brett after George Brett. Gordon’s swing, even going back to his days at the University of Nebraska, was clearly and obviously based on George Brett’s swing.

He was the second pick in the 2005 draft and was immediately labeled the next George Brett and the savior who would turn around Kansas City baseball. But he struggled in his early years with the Royals … with his bat, with his glove, with his confidence. He was a third baseman then; he was finally sent back to the minor leagues to learn how to play left field. When he returned, he was immediately a fantastic left fielder — it was like he was born to play the position. He would end up winning eight Gold Gloves.

With his newfound defensive prowess came a renewed confidence in his hitting. Gordon may have patterned his swing after Brett’s but it ended up being a much longer swing with a pretty big hole in it. Strikeouts would always be a problem. Still, he hit .303 and slugged .502 in his first full year back, and the next season he led the American League in doubles. With gap power, excellent baserunning and otherworldly defense, Gordon made himself into one of the best players in the league — and into a Kansas City icon.

And it’s the last part that makes him … unusual.

Going into 2020, there were only seven players who had played 1,500 career games all with the same team. One of those, Elvis Andrus, was traded to Oakland this February. Another, Ryan Braun, will not be back with Milwaukee after the team paid a buyout rather than pick up his 2021 option. Yet another, Ryan Zimmerman, sat out the 2020 season but is now trying to play again.

The other four: St. Louis’ Yadier Molina; Cincinnati’s Joey Votto; New York’s Brett Gardner; and Gordon.

This just doesn’t happen much, a player spending an entire lengthy career with one team. But it is particularly striking with Gordon because numerous times in his career it seemed all but certain that he was gone. People thought he would leave in free agency. People thought the Royals wouldn’t bring him back. Time and again, through good seasons and rough ones, through championships and 100-loss disasters, the Royals and Gordon stayed together. That is a marriage.

[Reply]
KChiefs1 08:46 AM 03-11-2021
https://theathletic.com/2401454/2021...en-jim-bowden/

Top 10 MLB breakout predictions for 2021:
by
Jim Bowden

Originally Posted by :
Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals
Age: 25 B: B T: R
2019 stats: Slash line: .263/.291/.424 HR: 9 RBI: 62 SB: 43
2020 stats: Slash line: .256/.294/.416 HR: 6 RBI: 22 SB: 24
Career: Exit Velo: 89.5 Hard-Hit%: 34.8 wOBA: .296


Mondesi is at the perfect breakout age of 25, and the flashy speedster might just be ready to take the raw power he shows in batting practice and carry it over to major-league games.
He’s one of the sport’s best overall athletes and one of its fastest players as shown by his 98th percentile sprint speed, according to Baseball Savant.
Defensively, he ranks in the 89th percentile in outs above average at shortstop.
Royals manager Mike Matheny raved about Mondesi in a recent conversation with me, saying he believes this is the year Mondesi reaches another level, and I agree.
He’s too talented not to make a huge leap. I’m predicting a .280 batting average and a .320 on-base percentage with 12 home runs and a whopping 60 steals.
Boom. There you go.

[Reply]
KChiefs1 01:33 PM 03-11-2021
21. Kansas City Royals

Leitch:
We’re doing a lot of divisional-grading-on-a-curve here. But I liked what the Royals did this offseason. Andrew Benintendi and Michael A. Taylor are hardly stars, but they’ve still got upside in them and the Royals didn’t spend much to get either, and Carlos Santana is the OBP bat that the team has been needing for a while now. Heck, I’m not even against the “take a flyer on Wade Davis and Brad Brach” bullpen plan; it’s not like they went all Rockies on either. And the new additions do lengthen out the lineup, which already had Whit Merrifield at the top, Jorge Soler in the middle and Salvador Perez … actually, let’s stop there for a second. Did you see what Perez did in his final 15 games last year? .371/.391/.806. Perez is a free agent after this year, and he’s only 30. If he re-establishes himself as a regular and hits anything at all like he did last year, the offense is no joke.

The rotation, though, well, I suppose I’m not laughing at that either, but only because I feel bad. There’s reason for hope in a couple of years with the young pitchers coming up, maybe, but that doesn’t do them much good now. It’s no wonder Danny Duffy said he wanted to be buried a Royal: It’s the only place he’d be a No. 1 starter. The Royals will score a lot of runs this year, and they’ll be feisty. Who knows? Maybe Cleveland implodes, the White Sox turn on La Russa and Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton are hurt all year in Minnesota.

More likely: The Royals are a little better than you think they are, but not nearly good enough.
[Reply]
Strongside 02:46 PM 03-11-2021
Nicky Lopez's bat already in midseason form.

Really wish we weren't going to start the year with a gaping hole in the bottom of the lineup at 2B. Royals did a great job of putting up 2 runs there with a ball off the wall and a sac fly, and then Lopez promptly comes up and swings at junk and goes down on 3 pitches.
[Reply]
KChiefs1 03:25 PM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by Strongside:
Nicky Lopez's bat already in midseason form.

Really wish we weren't going to start the year with a gaping hole in the bottom of the lineup at 2B. Royals did a great job of putting up 2 runs there with a ball off the wall and a sac fly, and then Lopez promptly comes up and swings at junk and goes down on 3 pitches.
Bobby Witt Jr played 2B the other day....just sayin' :-)
[Reply]
RaidersOftheCellar 03:30 PM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by KChiefs1:
21. Kansas City Royals

Leitch:
We’re doing a lot of divisional-grading-on-a-curve here. But I liked what the Royals did this offseason. Andrew Benintendi and Michael A. Taylor are hardly stars, but they’ve still got upside in them and the Royals didn’t spend much to get either, and Carlos Santana is the OBP bat that the team has been needing for a while now. Heck, I’m not even against the “take a flyer on Wade Davis and Brad Brach” bullpen plan; it’s not like they went all Rockies on either. And the new additions do lengthen out the lineup, which already had Whit Merrifield at the top, Jorge Soler in the middle and Salvador Perez … actually, let’s stop there for a second. Did you see what Perez did in his final 15 games last year? .371/.391/.806. Perez is a free agent after this year, and he’s only 30. If he re-establishes himself as a regular and hits anything at all like he did last year, the offense is no joke.

The rotation, though, well, I suppose I’m not laughing at that either, but only because I feel bad. There’s reason for hope in a couple of years with the young pitchers coming up, maybe, but that doesn’t do them much good now. It’s no wonder Danny Duffy said he wanted to be buried a Royal: It’s the only place he’d be a No. 1 starter. The Royals will score a lot of runs this year, and they’ll be feisty. Who knows? Maybe Cleveland implodes, the White Sox turn on La Russa and Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton are hurt all year in Minnesota.

More likely: The Royals are a little better than you think they are, but not nearly good enough.
Duffy the #1? What's he talking about?

Not sure what's so laughable about their rotation. Keller is very good, Duffy is inconsistent but talented, and Singer and Bubic are already decent with potential to be really good.
[Reply]
KChiefs1 03:32 PM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by RaidersOftheCellar:
Duffy the #1? What's he talking about?

Not sure what's so laughable about their rotation. Keller is very good, Duffy is inconsistent but talented, and Singer and Bubic are already decent with potential to be really good.
It's the national view of the Royals pitching rotation. I bet this guy doesn't even know who Brad Keller is.
[Reply]
Prison Bitch 04:09 PM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by tk13:
I'm excited about a lot of the pitchers, but it's Singer I want to see. .


A Conversation With Kansas City Royals Right-Hander Brady Singer
by David Laurila


https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-conver...-brady-singer/
[Reply]
Chris Meck 05:45 PM 03-11-2021
Originally Posted by KChiefs1:
It's the national view of the Royals pitching rotation. I bet this guy doesn't even know who Brad Keller is.
Well...I guess there's only one thing left to do.
[Reply]
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